All small business owners who have a website will constantly get solicitation emails and phone calls for SEO companies claiming that they are the solution that will be that “magic seo bullet” that brings in tons of traffic through rankings on Google. The problem isn’t the idea, more traffic can and will be achieved through higher Google rankings, but instead falls on the ability of the company to actually accomplish the goal that they say they can. Many of these emails will say something like “guaranteed #1 placement on Google” or “we have achieved new placements for over 1,000 new keywords in the last month.” These pitches are all pretty much the same, sales banter promising that this particular company knows something that the others do not. Nothing could be further from the truth, and as a matter of fact there is a good chance that the company that sent you the email actually knows less than everyone else.
There is no mystery behind SEO in the modern world. Google has made automated strategies so ineffective that they cannot be used anymore, so there are really only two kinds of SEO company still floating around out there. The first is what we define ourselves as, a “strategic content development and optimization firm,” which is essentially a professional writing group that follows the strategic cues set up through a growth plan. Each month we analyze where we are for the target phrases we are hired to improve rankings for, and we do very specific work towards the goal of moving those terms up. Rankings are determined by the content on the site itself being about the topic, and being a better source of information on that topic than everything else on all the competing sites. Once single piece of content is not going to get you high rankings for a phrase, and instead the strategy is to continually develop new and fresh content on the broad subject that the business is targeting, being more specific on related subjects within individual articles. This content is then interlinked within the website and also spread around online using various social media and social bookmarking services, as well as other spaces that are appropriate. This strategy develops links naturally, and develops higher rankings over time.
The other kind of SEO company around today is the “churn and burn” type, who are not actually concerned about getting higher rankings over time. These types of companies are only interested in getting a business owner to sign a contract for a few months, which will probably be terminated by the business when not increases in rankings are achieved. When a company tells you that it will probably take three months of work to start seeing results, and then wants a three month contract, that is a red flag that they might be the kind of company that is only interested in getting you to pay for three months. These types of companies put more emphasis on their sales pitch than anything else, using techniques that make them look like they know what they are doing. An example of this is them saying something like “just Google Las Vegas website design and see who is number one,” and using this as a method to convince you that they can do the same for you. First off, “Las Vegas web design” and “las Vegas SEO company” are two completely different searches. A company specialized only in web design may rank number one that particular search, but if they also offer SEO services their position at #1 for that phrase is irrelevant. Also, the method that achieved that position may not be able to be duplicated for you. A web design company may credit themselves on every site they build, and place a link to their website on that site. If that is the case, there is a good chance that they may achieve a good ranking for themselves, but how will they duplicate that strategy for your business? They have access and control over those websites that they built, and those are not going to be able to be used for your business. This means a completely different strategy must be employed to gain rankings for your website, and that company may have no idea how to do it. Our advice is always to ask to see real statistics showing successes for different clients, or to speak to the clients directly.
The last method of gaining new business for seo companies is to tear down existing trust by pinpointing different “failures” of the existing company. This usually comes in the form of an email attacking a low position for a keyword that seems to be important to the business. The email might say something like “I reviewed your website and you don’t rank for many important keywords,” and when you respond the salesman will search for the one or two terms that you are weak within, all the while ignoring the terms that you are strong within. This idea of getting you to ignore the success in favor of concentrating on failure exploits the specific nature of search engine optimization. Google has become so good at their job that searches for “Las Vegas SEO” will generally return different results than “Las Vegas SEO company.” This is because of the amount of specific text on the site, and the inbound links that come into the site being specific. Even though these two searches are probably the same idea, Google will return different results because one site might be stronger in the use of the word “company” than another. This is whaere the salesman make you doubt the current program, by ignoring that you rank well in a different phrase that may have been the actual target.
Most SEO companies are not very good at their jobs, and few have returned consistent successes over the course of all of the changes that Google has made. We are vry proud of our track record over the course of the past seven years here at Focus Internet Services, and we welcome you to send us some information about your website to see if we can assist you.